Friday, 13 May 2011

New iris

This is a stunner


I had to re-post this due to Blogger problems, but I really think it's worth another look :)
Definitely counting my blessings today, for a number of reasons

Wednesday, 11 May 2011

Guerilla seed saving

Most of us have heard about guerilla gardening, but I want  to introduce you to the concept of guerilla seed saving lol
We went out for lunch at the weekend to a newly refurbished pub down in the south east of the county. I had the house salad; the usual things - various leaves, rocket, potatoes, tomatoes.............oh the tomatoes! Being a keen heritage vegetable sort of gardener, I instantly recognised them - Green Zebra, Pineapple, Black Krim and a smaller black one, and a red and orangey/yellow striped one. Nipped off to the Ladies for a paper towel, came back and dissected the tomatoes, ate some, saved a little for the seeds. I'll sow them today or tomorrow, grow them on, save more seed and share them.  Good lunch and free seeds for £8.  Bargain.

Other things I've had success with - sowing beans from the grocer, straight out of the bag - I'm on my second year of my own strain of kidney bean now, looking good; buying potatoes of unusual varieties (Waitrose good for his, or smaller, independent shops) and growing them; buying one of a variety of unusual tomatoes, and saving the seed from them - my friend and I did this in Auchterader last year, from the wonderful fruit and veg shop on the high street.
I'm just about to start a trial of soya beans too, and some black turtle beans - I got both of these at 10p for a 100g bag reduced in Morrisons last week. Will report back.
Anyone else grown things from unusual sources?
The picture shows the tomato seeds ready for planting. Looking forward to the results :))

Tuesday, 10 May 2011

Selling by the gate

This is my take on selling by your own gate/drive/private property etc; probably different to others, but this is hwo I do it.
I  have a garden table which I use, on to which is screwed a piece of strong plywood - expands the selling space. It sits at the end of the drive, out on the pavement, out of the way of pedestrians (such as we get around here past my house). I try and put an old table cloth or similar on it, to brighten it up and attract the eye. The money box is bolted on, witht he bolt inside and the top locked, so quite secure. The only down side of this is when people need change, but I'm usually about to help if needed.
I sell plants, flowers, herbs, eggs, surplus fruit and veg usually. Occasionally I'll branch out into books, pots etc, depends what I have.
I believe, technically spekaing, that in this country you should have some form of licence from the local council, but they are fairly lax around here, and it's never raised its head with me so far. I think the salient points are as follows:
- keep your table clean and tidy and up to date
-place it so it's not in anyone's way
- keep prices sensible, while covering your costs
- place it where there is room to pull off the road safely for drivers
-price things up, or have eg a chalkboard for prices
-check it once ro twice a day
-talk to customers if they're around - I occasionally invite some in to look around the garden, depending
-keep it low key ; we're in a conservation area, so no big signs, wild flapping cloths and things lol
- watch out if you sell jam- there are strict rules about ratio of fruit to sugar, and youc ould well get taken to task by Env Health and your jam tested, possible enquiries about kitchen inspections (I don't sell jam, pickles are Ok I think)
- watch out for wind blowing stuff about/away
-keep an eye on the money box, I empty mine at least once a day, and always over night
- some people will take without paying - oversight or on purpose, just put it down to experience - says more about them than you

I'm jsut about to get mine organised to put out the front at the weekend, so i'll take a pic and let you see how mine looks.
Good luck if you're thinking about doing it - there is money to be made, and customers will return if you offer quality at good prices.
Anyone else do it?

Monday, 9 May 2011

Symbiotic blanket making..............

I told you I've started on blankets for the winter, and I now have three on the go; one is out of traditional crocheted granny squares to use up lots of odd bits I have around; the second is a one colour ( so far) continuous square, slightly different style of granny square, to use larger amounts of wool. There is always a bit left of a ball that isn't quite big enough to do a whole square, so I'm doing a knitted blanket at teh same time, so when I get to this left over bit, it gets knitted up straight away into the blanket - keeps things going and saves leaving bits and peices lying around.

That's the theory anyway :lol:
We went out for a cup of tea to the airfield on Saturday, but didn;t stop and got back after 5pm :lol: We deicded to carry on and do a few other things, so I managed to get 8 1/2 granny squares done in the car :lol:

VCT = valuable crochet time

Sunday, 8 May 2011

Aquilegia Green Apples

Just wanted to share this with you, it's so pretty; aquilegia Green Apples. I grew it from seed and this is the first year it's bloomed.